WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Early spring? Quoth the groundhog "nevermore"

Posted January 30, 2009 8:53 a.m. EST
Updated January 30, 2009 8:56 a.m. EST

With a potent winter storm waiting in the wings, threatening to bring another chance of snow to North Carolina, the Triangle and, indeed, the state will look to our most famous forecaster for guidance as to what the skies will bring.

Nope, we're not talking about Greg Fishel -- we're talkin' Sir Walter Wally!  He's the groundhog who lives at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science.  Around noon on Monday, Wally will emerge from his otherwise warm and comfortable bed so that he can tell us whether spring will come early or whether we're looking at another six weeks of winter.

Now, according to the latest WeatherCenter forecast, it looks like he'll have a hard time seeing that shadow, meaning an early start to spring, but snow-lovers, don't fret quite yet.  Last year, our weather-forecasting woodchuck predicted six more weeks of winter, having not seen his shadow.  The weather had other ideas -- Raleigh and Fayetteville both averaged above normal for the entire six week period following Groundhog Day, according to the NC State Climate Office.  That said, his record had been good enough (as groundhogs go!) to get a mention on national TV.  You can research Wally's record at this site maintained by the State Climate Office.

If you want to be there when Wally makes his call for 2009, the NC Museum of Natural Science is hosting quite a shindig on Monday, starting at 10am.